Throughout its history, the Boston Marathon has been a celebration of triumph, overcoming adversity and ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. On Monday at the 117th running of the world’s most prestigious race, the celebration turned into terror in the blink of an eye.
At 2:50 p.m. local time, two explosions about 12 seconds apart rocked the finish line as runners crossed the finish line on Boylston Street. Some who were further away from the blasts thought they might have been celebratory cannons. But those nearby knew in an instant that this was no celebration. Emergency workers immediately rushed to the scene to help those in need. In the blink of an eye, the sidewalks of Boston had turned into something out of a war zone. Medical officials who moments earlier had found themselves treating cramps and blisters now found themselves treating life-threatening injuries. By the end of the day, the numbers were horrifying. 130 had been wounded, and three had lost their lives, including an 8-year old boy.
Almost instantly, people logged onto social media sites to show their support. The hashtag #PrayForBoston instantly was trending on Twitter.
Wow can’t believe what just happened at the Boston Marathon. Praying for everyone down there.
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) April 15, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon. #prayforboston
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 15, 2013
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) April 16, 2013
Praying for those effected by the explosions at the marathon. #Godblessboston
— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) April 15, 2013
Local sporting events, including Monday night’s Bruins game and Tuesday’s Celtics game were both cancelled out of respect for the victims of the attack. The Red Sox finished their annual Patriot’s Day matinee game roughly an hour before the explosions. Fenway Park is located about 1.5 miles away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Horrifying images of the explosions circulated around social media all day, but fortunately, some were able to point out a silver lining. In the videos of the explosion, rather than everyone running away from the explosions, those in the area immediately ran towards the blasts to help those in need. It was reported that some of the runners who had just completed the 26.2-mile race moments earlier just kept on running to local hospitals to donate blood.
Out of the darkness of the attacks came the good of human nature. People often talk about how they are hopeless about humanity. But one look at the inspiring messages of love and support on social media shows that in times of need, people band together anyway they can to show their support. Whether it be as involved as a volunteer tearing away fences to save those trapped underneath or as simple as sending a message on Twitter, Americans proved once again that despite our differences, we come together when things seem darkest.